By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

PLYMOUTH, Minn. (WCCO) — A Plymouth family is celebrating a Christmas miracle — the gift of life.

Jamie Hammer has been at University Hospital since October waiting on a life-saving lung transplant.

Doctors told her family, without it, Jamie would not see the holidays.

Jamie has battled cystic fibrosis since birth.

She lives for hope. It’s that hope of a miracle that kept her family going when a routine doctor’s visit led to a lengthy hospital stay.

“We couldn’t let her be alone. This is probably the scariest time of her life, the scariest time of our lives,” said Chris Hammer, Jamie’s husband.

The family’s love for Jamie, hope that a transplant was around the corner and faith that God would deliver a miracle sustained them for days.

“That faith, hope and love was like a chant to keep us going in the darkest days,” said Kaitlin Coleman, Jamie’s oldest sister.

It was shortly before Christmas when doctors gave the family bad news.

“He really told me that we’re down to the final days here and another one of the doctors said we are into the two-minute drill at that point, so I knew there were not very many days left,” Chris said.

“I think the CaringBridge site was huge I think so many people felt this miracle felt this sense of hope,” Coleman said.

Jamie’s family documented her journey of faith and hope.

It’s where they also opened up about the importance of organ and tissue donation.

“For all of us, I think it was very hard just to accept the fact that we needed something bad to occur for something good,” Chris said.

That bad but good thing happened, Dec. 21.

“I was kind of sitting by the window watching the snow fall and he looks at me from the corner of his eye and he said I might have some good news for you,” Chris said.

Jamie’s Christmas miracle had arrived.

“The solstice when she got her transplant is the darkest day of the year and out of that came like this light this hope,” Coleman said.

For this family, Christmas Eve was like no other.

“I don’t think I could ever ask for another Christmas present that would even come close,” Chris said.

Their prayers have been answered.

“Every breath she takes we will be thankful to this life that gave our sister life,” said Coleman.

Jamie is so close to getting off the ventilator, so close to be able to talk and laugh again.

Their hope is Sunday she will be strong enough to breath on her own.

WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman Reports

Comments (10)
  1. Melissa says:

    God Bless this family.

  2. Dawn says:

    yhis family got a blessing but say prayers for the family that lost a loved one!

  3. heather says:

    We say a prayer every day for the family that lost their loved one. We are so grateful for that familes choice of organ donation and a minute does not go by that we don’t think of the other family and their loss. We feel like they are now a part of our family, and we hope some day we can tell them that.

  4. Marvin says:

    I’ve never seen Chris smile so much.

  5. Claudine says:

    What a wonderful story! A true Christmas miracle.

    Organ donation is such an amazing gift.

    Congratulations, Jamie!

  6. Halley says:

    OMG!!! What a great story!!!! God bless you and your family and especially the donor and the donor’s family.
    Four days after my 12th birthday, I got a life saving liver transplant !! I’m 14 now, and after over 2 successful years of living my new life, I have learned that the world is a wonderful place, and like you guys said in order to have something good happen something bad has to first. Sadly. Enjoy and celebrate each day. I wish you all the same happiness I am feeling today. We are also a very “pro” donate life family 🙂

  7. Deb Werkman says:

    Jamie, I’m so happy for you and your family! We met at support group some time back. Welcome to the club of survivors!
    Deb W, (double lung) a seven year survivor.

  8. Jennifer Johnson Schafer says:

    Merry Christmas! So thankful you received your Christmas miracle, Jamie, and that we have been able to walk this journey with you. GO, JAMIE, GO!!!!!

  9. Heidi says:

    Dear Realist, God be with you so that you can find peace. I’m sure this family has a lot of questions for God. I think organ donation was a choice they made and it is the only good that can come out of something so horrible. If you knew my sister, when she first learned of her placement on the lung transplant list, her first words were for the donor family.

  10. Chris says:

    realist, you are right someone died. But that person chose life, they chose to do something in death that none of us in life could do. That is to save at least 2 people, maybe more with their final selfless act, without which there very well may have been 2 additional deaths.

    Comments such as yours are that of ignorance, and I suspect if you ever came to a point in your life that you had to choose to accept a donated organ you would not even hesitate.

    We pray daily for the donor, and for their family to find peace in their tragedy. I pray that someday you find enlightenment, and become an organ donor yourself.

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